Comics and Graphic Novel Sales Up 5% in 2016

Comics and Graphic Novel Sales Up 5% in 2016 according to New Estimate by ICv2 and Comichron

The comics and graphic novel market grew 5% in 2016, according to a new joint estimate by Comichron’s John Jackson Miller and ICv2’s Milton Griepp. Total comics and graphic novel sales to consumers in the U.S. and Canada reached $1.085 billion in 2016, a $55 million increase over sales in 2015.

“It’s gratifying to see continued growth in the audience for graphic novels,” Griepp said. “This represents growth in the broadest part of the market, where increased variety of content is being found by new audiences for comics, including kids and women.”

“Marvel’s lucrative relaunch of the Star Wars line in 2015 set a high mark for the comics shop market to beat in 2016,” Miller said. “The fact that it pulled even, thanks in part to DC’s Rebirth event, was remarkable-and the book channel’s strength was even more so.”

Graphic novels in the book channel were the only area of growth in 2016, as sales in comic stores, through download-to-own digital channels, and in newsstands remained flat. Sales of graphic novels through the book channel grew 16% to $405 million in 2016, after growing 23% in 2015 and 16% in 2014.

As presented above and in the accompanying infographics, the analysis by Comichron and ICv2 was divided up between periodical comics (what some call “floppies” or “pamphlets”), graphic novels, and digital download-to-own sales. All print figures are calculated based on the full retail price of books sold into the market, and do not account for discounting or markup. Digital sales do not include subscription or “all you can read” services.

This is the fourth joint market size analysis from ICv2 and Comichron; the first was for 2013 sales.

Comichron is the world’s largest public repository of comic-book sales figures, featuring data from the 1930s to today about comic book and graphic novel circulation, cover prices, and market shares on its website, With data and analysis on the distant past as well as the present, Comichron serves as a trusted resource for academics studying the historical reach of the medium and for collectors seeking accurate information about how many copies of a comic book originally circulated.

ICv2 is the #1 industry source on the business of geek culture, including comics and graphic novels, hobby games, and showbiz on its website,, and in its magazine, Internal Correspondence. For the people on the front lines of the geek culture business, staying ahead of the trends isn’t something that can be left to chance-it’s a basic necessity for being successful. That’s why ICv2 is the #1 source of news and information for the buyers, gatekeepers, and tastemakers on the front lines. ICv2 is where trend-watching is a science.


About Anthony

Collector of comics for 30 years.
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9 Responses to Comics and Graphic Novel Sales Up 5% in 2016

  1. JayClue says:

    It is very interesting to me that in the digital Information Age, where almost all forms of print are going the way of the dinosaur, the Comic book sales numbers are trending the opposite direction. That’s cool.

    • Anthony says:

      Not hugely trending up but it is. Graphic novel sales now account for more money than single issue comics

      • Alana says:

        I still don’t know who buys graphic novels, I think it’s some kind of conspiracy involving money laundering lol

      • Anthony says:

        I have picked up ones to read on vacation where it didn’t make sense to travel with a bunch of floppy copies. However I have also packed comic-folios stuffed with floppies as well.

  2. A. King says:

    I will never put a penny to digital comics. I will always want something to hold in my hand.

  3. over-inflated bubba says:

    guessing the increase is due the increase in shop exclusives on the comic and trade side (whats the minimum print run on trade exclusives ?)

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